Top 10 Pros And Cons of Becoming a Translator

Sep 03, 2017

Content top 10 pros and cons of becoming a translator

If you’re lucky enough to be  multilingual someone may have suggested you become a translator and interpreter. It’s true that a good translator can have a great feature. However, the work may not be for everyone. If you are considering a career as a translator, first take a look at these ten pros and cons.

Con: It Isn’t Always a Good Fit For Creative Types

As a translator you will work on many types of translations. Depending on your other qualifications you might work on translating medical documents, travel documents, safety manuals, family history information, engineering specs, business contracts, and more. Your job as a translator is to ensure that each document you work on is translated completely, accurately, and that context is maintained.

This is exacting, detailed work. It can pay very well. However, if you crave an element of creativity this may not be the career path for you. Translators may never take creative liberties with their work.

Pro: You Have Control Over Your Schedule

Many translators opt to do freelance online work from home. The attraction for many is the ability to control your own schedule. As long as you meet deadlines, you will frequently be able to work any hours that you want. Even better, you can take on as much or as little work as you want. Some translators  do the work to earn part time income while others take on a full time workload.

Con: Instability For Freelancers

The freedom and flexibility of becoming a freelance translator isn’t without it’s drawbacks. There is no guarantee of work. You have to work hard to maintain a good reputation, and impress the agency that you work with. There’s also the possibility that work in your language or industries of specialization won’t be in high demand each month.

Pro: Demand For Translators is Increasing

There is a growing demand for qualified and capable translators. Growing businesses opening up operations overseas need both translators and localization experts to help them be successful in new locations. People are traveling abroad more than ever as well. In addition to these, if you think about it, every online business is potentially an international business. Translators are needed to translate web pages, product descriptions, and landing pages.

Con: Stressful Deadlines

In the world of translation, urgencies are the norm. People often realize they need a translation done at the last minute. Picture someone at an airport in another country unable to board a plane because the customs agent cannot read their travel visa. These assignments often a premium, but lead to a lot of stress as well.

Pro: Perks of Working From Home

Working home can be really awesome. You can take breaks to pet the dog. Your kitchen is right around the corner saving you money at the fast food counter. You can set your own dress code, and make your work environment just the way you like it. You certainly cannot beat the commute. There are great translation jobs for mothers who would like to earn money while also spending time at home.

Con: Loneliness

Of course, there is an undeniable social benefit to working outside the home. It guarantees contact with others, time spent outside, and a lack of isolation. Working as a translator is largely independent, lonely work.

This isn’t to say you will be doomed to a lonely existence. However, you should be aware that you may need to make some extra effort in getting out and socializing while you aren’t working.


If you are talented, hardworking, and a self starter a career as a translator may be for you. Before you dive in, please consider the pros and cons listed here. Hopefully, you’ll decide the job is still a great fit for  you. We need more talented translators and interpreters.